Ask Aunt Chelsea, Nov. 7, 2013
Dear Aunt Chelsea:
My roommate recently adopted a cat. Now, I like cats, or at least funny cats as seen on YouTube — but I never had pets growing up and don’t really understand the appeal of owning one. Sure, she’s cute. But she also likes to attack my feet, wakes me up at five in the morning for food and sheds her weight in cat hair every day.
Because my roommate works odd hours, it’s now become my job to take care of this thing! But he is very attached to the cat, and I don’t want to make him get rid of it. But what can I do to take back my apartment and free time from the feline menace?
This short letter speaks volumes. You have tellingly cast yourself in the role of a reluctant caretaker who puts the wants of a roommate — and the needs of his cat — above her own. Yet your excessive use of the word “but” tells me you “want” somebody to point out that this situation is in “need” of fixing. Consider it done. It’s just too bad you lack the killer instincts of a “feline menace” — otherwise, you would have pounced on the opportunity to get rid of that unwanted third wheel before it had a chance to shed all over the welcome mat. That was your now-closed window to fake an epic sneezing jag, thereby obligating your roommate to show Little Miss Scratchy Paws the door.
No matter. Without haste, you simply must deploy “the best policy” as your fallback plan, and be brutally honest. Tell him to banish that frisky critter from the apartment’s common areas and become its singular keeper, or they’ll both be out the door. Stand tough. There’s no shame in giving the boot to a species that steals your breath and clomps its choppers on you about a second after your corpse cools down. I know I’ll get letters for that last remark, but it’s true. There’s a dark side to those Internet kitty videos that nobody seems willing to talk about!